Around 170,000 job losses in film industry as coronavirus halts production
Approximately 120,000 people have already lost their jobs in Hollywood and 50,000 freelancers in the UK are unable to find work due to the coronavirus pandemmc and the ensuing shutdown ordered by government.
According to the US International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union, which revealed the unemployment figures, many series and film productions have been halted due to the outbreak.
Many of the workers, largely freelance crew, were laid off at short notice with little or no financial compensation.
The ICG (International Cinematographers Guild) sent out a statement on Thursday that said: “The IATSE reports that the pandemic shutdown has resulted in the loss of 120,000 jobs held by its 150,000 members. It is critical that our industry be included in pending federal relief package.”
“Although some of our members are being paid for up to two weeks after their shows shut down, based upon the reality of the healthcare crisis we now face, it is highly unlikely that productions will resume after so short a period of time [...] This problem is likely to continue for months, not weeks,” it continued.
The halted productions include the shooting of the Avatar sequels and Fantastic Beasts 3.
In the UK, the situation for “below the line” crew appears equally catastrophic, reported the Guardian on Thursday.
Bectu (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union) estimates around 50,000 industry freelancers will have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
A survey conducted by the union suggested that 71% of freelancers – about 35,000 people – in the industry will struggle to survive financially as a result of the shutdown.